My app features functionality to see where your friends are, pretty much like Foursquare and Facebook do, but the scope and reason why are quite different. In fact, it would be check in / and check out and whatever you can do with it. Actually, I'd like not to say too much.
Facebook was awarded US Patent 7,809,805 in 2010 for:
A method of sharing locations of users participating in a social networking service at a geographic location, the method executed by a computer system and comprising:
receiving location information and status information from a mobile device of a first user of the social networking service, the location information representing a geographic location of the first user, the status information manually provided by the first user on an input module of the mobile device;
associating the location information with the status information of the first user in a database; and
sending the status information and the location information of the first user to a second user for display.
Does this mean that I cannot use any Geolocation API for check-in? How painful!
I have an alternative, which would be to check in into bars by visiting the profile of the bar (in the database), and a switch to mark a status as "present" (physically). It's lame, but there seems to be no alternative (?). Would this be allowed then? -> In a certain way this also tells something about being in a physical location, but without using GeoLocation. And could I perhaps use Nearby places API if I make the functionality entirely separate from the check-in functional wise (very lame for the user but it's being with the back against the wall).
Another way I had in mind was to get bar owners to paste qr codes of their own bars on windows or make stamps on beer cards. This is actually too crazy for the short term.
Have you got any advice for me? Many thanks for your quick reply.